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IMAGINE IF YOU WILL – THE EASTER EXPERIENCE
. – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC: Easter story, salvation
SCRIPTURE: John 3:16
Style: interactive/conversation: narrator helps us
. to imagine what it would have been like
. when Jesus came to earth to die for us
. READER (optional, narrator can do this);
. EXTRAS (optional, narrator can
. get the congregation to act/feel along
. with what the narrator is suggesting)
Set & Props: palm branches (optional)
(NARRATOR enters at one side of the stage.
EXTRAS enter at the other side and stand in a group.
If you don’t use EXTRAS, have NARRATOR stand center
while encouraging the congregation to act or feel along.)
NARRATOR Imagine if you will –
. that you think there must be some hope,
. but you still feel hopeless.
. Imagine if you were so lost,
. you HAD to have help
. in order to find your way home.
. And without that help –
. you would never find it.
READER (Psalm 119:176 [NASB])
. “I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
. seek Your servant,
. For I do not forget Your commandments.”
(EXTRAS mime helplessness, and then being cold.)
NARRATOR Now imagine that you are a shepherd,
. a shepherd which people like to bully
. and make fun of when you go into town.
. And then, while you are out on a lonely hill,
. watching your sheep, you shiver from the cold,
. dark night... when all of a sudden,
. a bright ray of hope shines down upon you!
(If you can, have bright light shine into congregation.
EXTRAS shield their eyes and kneel.)
NARRATOR Angels come to YOU with a message of hope!
READER (Luke 2: 10-11 [NASB])
. ...“‘Do not be afraid; for behold,
. I bring you good news of great joy
. which will be for all the people;
. for today in the city of David
. there has been born for you a Savior,
. who is Christ the Lord.’”
(Bright light can be turned off,
EXTRAS kneel with hands folded in prayer.)
NARRATOR Here is the hope! Jesus, God’s only Son.
. But time passes, so now let us imagine that
. Jesus is now all grown up. And He begins
. to travel throughout your country.
. And you hear about this Jesus, who with
. God’s mighty power, is healing people.
. Now - imagine this, that you were born
. blind, deaf, or that you could never walk.
(EXTRAS act out these inflictions.)
NARRATOR How will you ever get to Jesus? But then,
. after trying to do whatever you could,
. Jesus comes to where you are, and heals you.
READER (Matthew 15:30 [NASB])
. “And large crowds came to Him,
. bringing with them those who were lame,
. crippled, blind, mute, and many others,
. and they laid them down at His feet;
. and He healed them.”
(EXTRAS act out that they are healed, and appreciative.)
NARRATOR And now you get to hear Jesus teach.
. Imagine that you are right there!
. You can HEAR Him speaking, but He tells you
. that you still might be deaf? And even though
. you can now SEE – you might still be blind?
(EXTRAS look at each other questioningly.) 3
NARRATOR And even though you are right there –
. you might still be lost?
READER (Luke 19:10 [NASB])
. “For the Son of Man has come
. to seek and to save that which was lost.”
(EXTRAS look around again at each other wondering.)
NARRATOR Imagine if you will, that for hundreds
. of years your people have been waiting
. for the perfect king to find you,
. to completely heal you, to fix
. all the problems all around you,
. to make sure you have a perfect home.
. NOW finally – the Perfect King has arrived.
. Jesus has come to be our King and save us.
READER (John 12:12-13 [NASB])
. ...when the large crowd
. “heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
. (riding in on a donkey)
. (they) took the branches of the palm trees
. and went out to meet Him, and began to shout,
. ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes
. in the name of the Lord,
. even the King of Israel.’”
(EXTRAS shout “Hosanna! Hosanna!” and if you want,
they can wave palm tree branches.)
NARRATOR But now imagine if you will,
. that you did not fully understand
. what this really meant.
. You thought Jesus was coming
. to make war against your enemies,
. but instead, Jesus wants to bring in peace?
. Even though God knew this would happen...
. the people turn against Jesus.
READER (Matthew 12:14 [NASB])
. “But the Pharisees went out
. and conspired against Him,
. as to how they might destroy Him.”
(EXTRAS look around, suspiciously.) 4
NARRATOR Imagine feeling angry and confused.
. Wondering what is going to happen?
. And you become afraid. You don’t want
. anyone getting angry with you,
. so you just go along with everyone else.
READER (Matthew 27: 22 [NASB})
. “Pilate said to them,
. ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus
. who is called Christ?’
. They all said, ‘Crucify Him!’”
(EXTRAS all call out “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”)
READER (Matthew 27:23 [NASB})
. “And Pilate said,
. ‘Why, what evil has He done?’
. But they kept shouting all the more,
. saying, ‘Crucify Him!’”
(EXTRAS all call out “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”)
NARRATOR ...Imagine if you will...
. Jesus is put to death, hung on a cross to die
. for our sins, for all our mistakes-
. and still – we make fun of Him - and
. yell mean things to Him- and spit on Him –
. and then – Jesus gives up His spirit
. and breathes His last- And when He died-
READER (Matthew 27:51-54 [The Message])
. “At that moment,
. the Temple curtain was ripped in two,
. top to bottom.
. There was an earthquake,
. and rocks were split in pieces.
. What’s more, tombs were opened up,
. and many bodies of believers
. asleep in their graves were raised.
. The captain of the guard and those with him,
. when they saw the earthquake
. and everything else that was happening,
. were scared to death.
. They said, ‘This has to be the Son of God!’”
(EXTRAS look fearful, and maybe shake 5
like in an earthquake, but not in a comical fashion.)
NARRATOR Now imagine- how afraid and sad you feel.
. You begin to wonder what this all means.
. You wonder - had Jesus been your only hope,
. but now all was lost?
. Well, three days later,
. there is another earthquake.
. You go to visit Jesus’ grave, and there-
. you see an empty grave -
. and an angel appears to give you a message-
(If possible, shine bright light at congregation.)
READER (Matthew 28:5-6 [The Message])
. “‘There is nothing to fear...
. I know you’re looking for Jesus,
. the One they nailed to the cross.
. He is not here.
. He was raised, just as He said.’”
(EXTRAS show great joy and relief.)
NARRATOR Now, even though all we can do is imagine
. what it must have been like to be there,
. we can still see with our spiritual eyes
. and we can see it for ourselves in the Bible,
. and know - that we can believe and be saved.
READER (1 Peter 1:8-9 [CEB])
. “Although you’ve never seen Him,
. you love Him.
. Even though you don’t see Him now,
. you trust Him
. and so rejoice with a glorious joy
. that is too much for words.
. You are receiving the goal of your faith:
. your salvation.”